8 December 2021, London – Blackbird plc (AIM:BIRD, OTCQX: BBRDF), the technology licensor, developer and seller of the market-leading cloud native video editing platform, Blackbird, is pleased to announce a placing of 28,571,429 new ordinary shares of 0.8 pence each in the Company (the “Placing Shares”) at a price of 28 pence per share (the “Placing Price”) to raise approximately £8.0 million before expenses (the “Placing”). Allenby Capital Limited (“Allenby Capital”) is acting as sole broker in connection with the Placing.
The Placing has been conducted as a private placement under the Company’s existing allotment and pre-emption disapplication authorities and participation has not been made available to members of the public.
Blackbird plc CEO, Ian McDonough, said:
“With our core business in rude health we are incredibly excited to announce a placing to raise £8.0 million to enter new markets with our “Powered by Blackbird” intellectual property.
“Recent contract wins for the Company include Univision, Eurovision Sport and a further expansion with TownNews to 80 regional US stations. “Powered by Blackbird” already has its first customer in our current sector focus of professional Media and Entertainment. The Company has also recently been awarded “Best Tech Company 2021” by the SportsPro OTT awards.
“While our reputation builds in the professional Media and Entertainment vertical, our technology has advanced through API development and the first “Powered by Blackbird” licence deal has shown our applicability to companies across multiple video markets. The creator economy, enterprise video and content distribution markets are of huge scale and have attractive growth rates offering a massive opportunity built around our existing intellectual property.”
- The Placing Shares have been placed with existing and new investors.
- Certain members of the Company’s board (the “Board”) and associated family members are subscribing for an aggregate of approximately £0.41 million in the Placing, of which £0.38 million will be subscribed by Ian McDonough, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and members of his family.
- The Placing Shares will represent approximately 7.8 per cent. of the issued share capital of the Company, as enlarged by the issue of the Placing Shares.
- The Company plans to develop its existing “Powered by Blackbird” (“PBB”) intellectual property to take advantage of the opportunities within the creator economy, enterprise video and content distribution markets (the “New Markets”).
- The estimated net proceeds of the Placing, which will be £7.6 million, will be used by the Company to:
- develop the Company’s technology offering in the New Markets;
- grow its software engineering, product and business development teams;
- expand the Company’s patent portfolio; and
- conduct appropriate research, prototyping and market testing of new technology developments.
Background to and reasons for the Placing
The Company is seeking funds to help utilise its PBB intellectual property and develop further technology to take advantage of the opportunities within the New Markets. These opportunities are evidenced by the creator economy, which in May 2021 had an estimated size of $104.2 billion (source: Creator Earnings: Benchmark Report 2021 – Influencer Marketing Hub). The Board believes that the New Markets suffer from inefficient video creation, cumbersome video distribution and low monetisation. These are all issues which the Board believes, through further development of the PBB intellectual property, the Company can solve. The Company’s recent PBB licence deal is testament to the capabilities of the technology.
Details of the Placing
A total of 28,571,429 Placing Shares are to be issued at a price of 28 pence per Placing Share. The Placing has been conducted utilising the Company’s existing share authorities to issue shares for cash on a non-pre-emptive basis. Allenby Capital acted as the Company’s sole broker in connection with the Placing. The Placing is conditional, inter alia, on admission of the Placing Shares to trading on AIM (“Admission”) becoming effective.
The Company has entered into a Placing Agreement with Allenby Capital under which Allenby Capital has agreed to use its reasonable endeavours to procure subscribers for the Placing Shares at the Placing Price. The Placing has not been underwritten.
The Placing Agreement contains, inter alia, customary undertakings and warranties given by the Company in favour of Allenby Capital as to the accuracy of information contained in this document and other matters relating to the Company. Allenby Capital may terminate the Placing Agreement in specified circumstances prior to Admission, including, inter alia, for material breach of the Placing Agreement or any other warranties contained in it and in the event of certain force majeure events occurring.
The Placing Shares will represent approximately 7.8 per cent. of the Company’s enlarged share capital. The Placing Price represents a discount of approximately 8.2 per cent. to the closing mid-market price on AIM of 30.5 pence per existing ordinary share of 0.8 pence each in the Company (“Ordinary Shares”) on 7 December 2021.
The Placing Shares will be credited as fully paid and will rank equally in all respects with the Company’s existing Ordinary Shares.
The Placing Shares have been placed with certain existing and new investors. The Directors value the Company’s retail shareholders, but due to the size of the Placing, the small discount to the prevailing bid price of an Ordinary Share and the cost of undertaking a retail offer, the Board determined that it was not in the Company’s interest to make the Placing available to all existing shareholders. However, this will be kept under review should the Company seek to raise further funds in the future.
It is expected that CREST accounts will be credited on the relevant day of Admission and that share certificates (where applicable) will be dispatched within 10 working days of Admission.
Admission to trading and total voting rights
Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange plc for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that Admission will become effective and that dealings in the Placing Shares on AIM will commence at 8:00 a.m. on or around 13 December 2021.
On Admission, the Company’s issued ordinary share capital will consist of 367,565,521 Ordinary Shares, with one vote per share. The Company does not hold any Ordinary Shares in treasury. Therefore, on Admission, the total number of Ordinary Shares and voting rights in the Company will be 367,565,521. With effect from Admission, this figure may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the share capital of the Company under the FCA’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.
Related Party Transaction
Premier Miton Group plc (“Premier Miton”), which currently owns 60,670,559 Ordinary Shares representing 17.9 per cent. of the Company’s issued share capital at the date of this announcement, has agreed to subscribe for 3,428,571 Placing Shares as part of the Placing. As a substantial shareholder of the Company, Premier Miton is to be treated as a ‘related party’ in accordance with the AIM Rules for Companies (the “AIM Rules”) and its participation is a related party transaction pursuant to Rule 13 of the AIM Rules. The Directors of the Company, having consulted with Allenby Capital, consider the terms of Premier Miton’s participation in the Placing to be fair and reasonable insofar as shareholders are concerned.
Some of the Directors of the Company have agreed to subscribe for 465,714 Placing Shares. In addition, members of Ian McDonough’s family have agreed to subscribe for 1,000,000 Placing Shares. Set out below are details of the Directors and related family interests in the share capital of the Company as at the date of this announcement and following Admission:
|At the date of this notice||Following admission|
|No. of existing Ordinary Shares||% of existing Ordinary Shares||No. of Ordinary Shares||% of enlarged share capital|
|Enquiries: Blackbird plc|
|Ian McDonough, Chief Executive Officer|
|Steve White, Chief Operating and Finance Officer Tel: +44 (0)20 8879 7245|
|Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser and Broker) Nick Naylor/Piers Shimwell (Corporate Finance) Amrit Nahal (Sales and Corporate Broking) Tel: +44 (0)20 3328 5656|
About Blackbird plc
Blackbird plc operates in the fast-growing SaaS and cloud video market. It has created Blackbird®, a market-leading suite of cloud native computing applications for video, all underpinned by its lightning-fast codec. Blackbird plc’s patented technology allows for frame accurate navigation, playback, viewing and editing in the cloud. Blackbird® enables multiple applications, which are used by rights holders, broadcasters, sports and news video specialists, esports, live events and content owners, post-production houses, other mass market digital video channels and corporations.
Since it is cloud native, Blackbird® removes the need for costly, high end workstations and can be used from almost anywhere on almost any device. It also allows full visibility on multi-location digital content, improves time to market for live content such as video clips and highlights for digital distribution, and ultimately results in much more effective monetisation.
Blackbird plc is a licensor of its core video technology under its “Powered by Blackbird” licensing model, enabling video companies to accelerate their path to true cloud business models. Licensees benefit from power and carbon reductions, cost and time savings, less hardware and bandwidth requirements and easy scalability.
Notice to Distributors
Solely for the purposes of the product governance requirement contained in Chapter 3 of the FCA Product Intervention and Product Governance Sourcebook (together, the “UK Product Governance Requirements“), and disclaiming all and any liability, whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise, which any “manufacturer” (for the purposes of the UK Product Governance Requirements) may otherwise have with respect thereto, the Placing Shares have been subject to a product approval process, which has determined that the Placing Shares are: (i) compatible with an end target market of retail investors and investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties, as defined under the FCA Handbook Conduct of Business Sourcebook, and (ii) eligible for distribution through all permitted distribution channels (the “Target Market Assessment“).
Notwithstanding the Target Market Assessment, distributors should note that: the price of the Placing Shares may decline and investors could lose all or part of their investment; the Placing Shares offer no guaranteed income and no capital protection; and an investment in the Placing Shares is compatible only with investors who do not need a guaranteed income or capital protection, who (either alone or in conjunction with an appropriate financial or other adviser) are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of such an investment and who have sufficient resources to be able to bear any losses that may result therefrom. The Target Market Assessment is without prejudice to the requirements of any contractual, legal or regulatory selling restrictions in relation to the Placing Shares. Furthermore, it is noted that, notwithstanding the Target Market Assessment, Allenby Capital Limited will only procure investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties. For the avoidance of doubt, the Target Market Assessment does not constitute: (a) an assessment of suitability or appropriateness for the purposes of the FCA Handbook Conduct of Business Sourcebook COBS 9A and 10A respectively; or (b) a recommendation to any investor or group of investors to invest in, or purchase, or take any other action whatsoever with respect to the Placing Shares.
Each distributor is responsible for undertaking its own target market assessment in respect of the Placing Shares and determining appropriate distribution channels.
Blackbird is best-of-breed
Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre